If you don't believe in Jesus's resurrection, how do you think that the resurrection story became so widely accepted?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,676
SoCal
If you don't believe in Jesus's resurrection, how do you think that the resurrection story became so widely accepted? Do you think that there might have been hallucinations on the part of some of Jesus's disciples along with Paul of Tarsus that caused them to hallucinate and to think that they saw Jesus when they actually didn't, or what?

It's an interesting question because I'm personally highly skeptical of supernatural events such as Jesus's alleged resurrection (I can't rule it out completely but I just think that it's extremely unlikely given that we see no magic in our own lifetimes) and thus I'm wondering as to what exactly it was that caused such huge numbers of people to believe in this idea in the first place. I mean, Muslims don't have resurrection myths, do they?
 
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Feb 2019
674
Thrace
Too little info to even speculate how he managed to trick them. Suffice to say that even in our own times, Sathya Sai Baba has millions of followers with "reports of faith healings, resurrection, clairvoyance, bilocation, and alleged omnipotence and omniscience."

If a 2nd rate con-man can trick so many people (estimates range from 6 to 100 million, the latter being half of the world's population during 1 AD), then it's easy to conceive how Jesus would have convinced the primitive people of ancient Israel with the most underwhelming methods imaginable.
 
Aug 2019
571
North
If you don't believe in Jesus's resurrection, how do you think that the resurrection story became so widely accepted? Do you think that there might have been hallucinations on the part of some of Jesus's disciples along with Paul of Tarsus that caused them to hallucinate and to think that they saw Jesus when they actually didn't, or what?

It's an interesting question because I'm personally highly skeptical of supernatural events such as Jesus's alleged resurrection (I can't rule it out completely but I just think that it's extremely unlikely given that we see no magic in our own lifetimes) and thus I'm wondering as to what exactly it was that caused such huge numbers of people to believe in this idea in the first place. I mean, Muslims don't have resurrection myths, do they?
As to paul story about losing his eye sight after an earthquaqe, the rocks /the geology in the region where paul is said to have gone blond tell the story that there was in fact an earthquaqe there at the time the incident happened. Paul was expecting immediate end of times after the blinding, that's why he was so zealous in spreading the religion.
It would be interesting to know the scientific explanation for the "hallucinations". I would like to see what the medical measuring instruments would say about these events: which parts of the brain of the apostols got stimulated back then, why, etc.
 
Jul 2012
784
Australia
Barbara Thiering had a few ideas in her book Jesus the Man.
A brief summary provided by Paul on Goodreads:
Jesus the Man

Jesus was indeed a real person, and was indeed a dynast of the royal house of David. By the 1st century BC the David lineage had become attached to the group known as the Essenes, educated sectarians who had become alienated from the mainstream of Judean society in the aftermath of the Maccabean revolt and the ensuing reformation of the Jewish state. The Essenes were centered at Qumran by the Dead Sea, and this monastic environment is where many of the events of the gospels actually took place--including the Crucifixion. For Jesus was indeed crucified, along with two others: Simon Magus and Judas Iscariot. Jesus did survive the Crucifixion, and, with his wife Mary Magdalene, did have children. He did teach a new understanding of the Law, and remained active in the movement to bring this to the world. His date of death is not recorded, but it apparently happened in Rome when he was in his 70s.

Thiering's central contention is that the gospels, Acts, and Revelation are all documents of a particular type: documents intended to have what was called a pesher, which is Hebrew for "interpretation" or "solution" in the sense of solving a puzzle. They were all written carefully, deliberately, in a kind of code that was intended to conceal a literal, factual meaning behind the surface text, a code readable only to someone with special knowledge. That factual meaning is a history of the events leading up to the birth of what came to be a new religion, the one we now call Christianity.

Thanks Paul.

Specifically on the Resurrection, Christ did not die - crucifixion took days and not 3 hours, so it was the spear in the side, laced with poison that was supposed to finish him off. But Joseph of Arimathea , a sort of apocathary, was able to administer an antidote in time to prevent death. It took another day and a bit for Jesus to recover sufficiently to leave the tomb.

Consequently, sightings of Jesus after his death did happened.

In the long-term for Christianity, the Gospels and the New Testament were written well after the event and written to tell a particular story in a particular way - the other-worldliness of Jesus bringing a new message for man.
 
Jan 2017
72
Italy, EU
There are only two possibilities:
A) there was an empty tomb that everyone could see.
B) the apostles had hallucinations and were able to convince others of Jesus' resurrection based on their strong belief.

It cannot be A). The way the story of the empty tomb is presented, it seems to be a complete literary invention of the author of the Gospel of Mark. Paul, who is writing before the gospels, never mentions the existence of an empty tomb. Furthermore, no person would person think "resurrected" if a body is missing from a tomb.

The B) hypothesis seems to be the correct answer to me. Paul mentions that Peter saw Jesus after his death and then the 12 saw Jesus too and then 500 people. It's a group hallucination thing, where you have a leader (Peter) convincing others (the 12 apostles and then 500 people) that they are seeing something. Something like Paul's vision of Jesus.

Furtheremore, having an hallucination of a loved one is entirely possible. They then believed this appearance was the beginning o of a general resurrection, because that was part of their belief system. Most people ended up thinking the resurrection took place because they were told so and believed it, like most Christians believe it today.
 
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Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,028
Yötebory Sveriya
Because it was written in an authoritative religious text.

While I am a very big fan of the Gospels (especially Mark as a whole, and John for its theological breakdown), I don’t consider them to be literal stories. I think it’s far more likely that Jesus is a metaphor for the Word/Logos and that the relationship with the physical body is a metaphor for the idealization of the Temple. The fact that the story became literally taken is simply how Christianity and Christians chose to interpret the text.

A bit about where I’m coming from: I don’t believe in the historicity of Jesus. But I also don’t think it matters, at least not to those think in philosophical and theological terms rather than literal. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t consider ones faith to be less legitimate if they didn’t take a literalist view.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,009
Dispargum
I suspect it was closely related to the modern concept of the conspiracy theory. When people do not wish to believe the truth they make up a fictional story that they find more satisfying. How many times have you heard someone at a funeral say, "I can't believe he's gone?" Is it easier to believe that your childhood pet is still living on a farm upstate? People are capable of believing all kinds of irrational things that are preferable to unpleasant reality.

2nd theory - the Gospels are amalgamations of multiple oral traditions with story elements crossing over from one story to another. As a result, the stories are not always coherent with our own experience. Crucifixions could go on for days and perhaps were not always fatal, if the process was interrupted for some reason. I have heard one interpretation that Jesus was crucified but did not die.
 
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Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,503
here
If you don't believe in Jesus's resurrection, how do you think that the resurrection story became so widely accepted? Do you think that there might have been hallucinations on the part of some of Jesus's disciples along with Paul of Tarsus that caused them to hallucinate and to think that they saw Jesus when they actually didn't, or what?

It's an interesting question because I'm personally highly skeptical of supernatural events such as Jesus's alleged resurrection (I can't rule it out completely but I just think that it's extremely unlikely given that we see no magic in our own lifetimes) and thus I'm wondering as to what exactly it was that caused such huge numbers of people to believe in this idea in the first place. I mean, Muslims don't have resurrection myths, do they?
Isn't this a non sequitur?

Shouldn't the question be, "Did early Christians believe in (literally) Jesus's resurrection?" If we want to know how the resurrection story became so widely accepted, wouldn't it behoove us to understand the mindset of these people that lived almost 2,000 years ago?

And if that is the question, I would answer that those folks (the majority of them) believed literally that Jesus was raised from the dead, as do most faithful Christians today.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,503
here
Because it was written in an authoritative religious text.

While I am a very big fan of the Gospels (especially Mark as a whole, and John for its theological breakdown), I don’t consider them to be literal stories. I think it’s far more likely that Jesus is a metaphor for the Word/Logos and that the relationship with the physical body is a metaphor for the idealization of the Temple. The fact that the story became literally taken is simply how Christianity and Christians chose to interpret the text.

A bit about where I’m coming from: I don’t believe in the historicity of Jesus. But I also don’t think it matters, at least not to those think in philosophical and theological terms rather than literal. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t consider ones faith to be less legitimate if they didn’t take a literalist view.
I would.

If a person doesn't believe in Claim A, then why would they believe in Claim B, C or D?

If you don't believe in any of these things, then how do you have faith?